Félix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo became President of Democratic Republic in 25 January 2019. © Belga

The President of Congo (DRC), Félix Tshisekedi signed on Wednesday a collaboration agreement with Antwerp’s World Diamond Centre (AWDC) as part of his visit in Belgium.

The Belgian diamond sector has placed high expectations in the new Conogolese President, hoping that the diamond trade will be boosted between the two countries.

Tshisekedi is the first president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to visit Belgium since 2007.

His visit aims to normalise relations between the countries, following troubled political relations between Belgium and DRC in recent years.

“President Tshisekedi wants more transparency and better traceability of minerals and Antwerp with its competitive market is the ideal partner in this respect,” says Ari Epstein, CEO of AWDC.

In order to reactivate the partnership in this sector, Tshisekedi and AWDC signed a memorandum of understanding focused on an open exchange of information, and collaboration on new technological innovations.

In addition, the already existing program in Antwerp which provides training to Congolese officials in diamond value estimation and administrative processes will be expanded.

via The Brussels Times originally published 18 September 2019.